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Yacht Charter Preferences

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Once your luxury yacht charter booking has been confirmed your broker will send you a preference sheet to be completed. This is a comprehensive questionnaire about your charter party’s needs, such as any allergies, dietary requirements, medical conditions and food and drink preferences, as well as the kind of activities your charter party would enjoy doing, for instance scuba diving, watersports and island tours. The information you provide in this preference sheet is key to ensuring every aspect of your yacht charter is tailor-made to perfection.

What is a yacht charter preference sheet?

Essentially, it is a questionnaire that notifies the crew of the individual preferences and special needs of a yacht charter party.

Close up of someone filling out a form

This detailed document runs to approximately 12 pages, and can be filled out either manually or online by you on behalf of your other guests before the yacht vacation commences.

What information do I need to include?

The following points are fairly typical of the kind of questions you might be asked on a yacht charter preference sheet;

  • Principle charterer's name and contact details 
  • Yacht charter period
  • Ports of embarkation/disembarkation and cruising area
  • Charter party names and contact details, including all pre and post yacht charter transport arrangements, such as flight numbers, times, locations and passport information
  • Any allergies, food intolerances or dietary requirements of the charter party
  • Any medical needs the crew should be made aware of
  • Scuba diving qualifications, if applicable
  • Emergency contact information
  • Food and drink preferences - this includes snacks, hors d'oeuvres, meals, desserts and preferred beverages
  • Any occasions for celebration, such as a birthday or significant anniversary

The form also asks what type of charter experience you and your guests are looking for; relaxing, fun-filled, adventurous etc. Also, what kind of charter activities you would be interested in doing, such as scuba diving, island-hopping and spa treatments. 

Snorkeler holds a starfish with a thumbs up sign
Woman lies prone receiving a head massage

No detail too small

There are areas on the form where you can add further information about your own and your guests' wishes, if not stated elsewhere. Whether that's a murder mystery theme night or a preferred brand of suntan lotion, no request is too large or detail too small.

Be honest, informative and prepare to be pampered.

Who needs this information?

Once completed, the crew will use this detailed questionnaire to provision and plan for your up-coming charter, making sure every element is prepared down to the smallest detail in order to best anticipate your own and your charter guests' needs. 

Read on to discover how each crew department uses this information to ensure your yacht charter is a complete success.  

Yacht chef

The charter preference sheet is especially important to the chef onboard, who will use it to provision the yacht in advance with all the food requests stipulated in the questionnaire. This ensures that all meals onboard are tailored around everyone's individual preferences, including any allergies or specific dietary requirements.

Close up of chef putting final touches to a dish
Close up of sushi hors d'oeuvres

Whether you have a sensitive palate or serious allergies to some foods, the preference sheet is the place to make your needs clear

Kim Kavin, Dream Cruises

The yacht chef will be more than happy to create menus around any special diets such as keto, gluten-free or macrobiotic, and it is not unheard of for guests to provide the chef with their favourite recipes or menus.

The chef is there to make your yacht charter experience special, so if any guests are on a particular diet for instance, it is best to mention it early on.

Sourcing luxury items

It is important that the chef provision ahead of the yacht charter as it may be difficult to source certain items, such as New Zealand lamb or Beluga caviar once the vacation has started. This is especially true for yacht charter itineraries that include remote locations or islands. 

Caviar on ice with expensive wine glasses
Red wine bottles lined up in a rack

Of course, if anyone in the charter party has a specific food or drink request once the vacation has started the captain or your broker will liaise with the local onshore agent who will endeavour to source these items and arrange for them to be delivered to the yacht during the charter.

That said, if you are headed to a remote island and are eager for a bottle of vintage champagne, be prepared to pay the shipping costs, which could be fairly pricey.

Bucket of Champagne with ice

Limited onboard storage 

Unlike a hotel, a luxury yacht does not have an infinite variety of food and drink onboard due to limited storage capacity, so it is well worth keeping this in mind when completing the food and drink section of the preference form to ensure the boat is provisioned with everything you and your guests want. Better to let the crew know in advance if anyone has a favourite liquor or type of chocolate to avoid any disappointment during the yacht charter.

Captain

The yacht captain will use the preference sheets to glean your charter party's contact and passport information, which will be used for completing the embarkation forms to make a timely getaway from the dock. No-one wants to be hanging around waiting for paperwork to be processed at the start of a charter!

Close up of passport and visa

The captain will also use the preference sheet to formulate a plan to incorporate as much of the guests' activities and entertainment requests around the chosen itinerary for the duration of the yacht charter, such as walking excursions, watersports and any onshore dining requests. This will also be based on the captain's in-depth knowledge of the area, as well as the approximate distances and time needed to get to each destination on the itinerary.

Harbour in the south of France
Close up of a map with navigating equipmentA yacht is moored in a marina

Anchorages

The captain will also need to consider where to drop anchor for the night, if the yacht has not already been booked into a marina berth, and may use the preference sheet as a guide, for instance if guests have indicated a preference for buzzy nightclubs and bars or for something more tranquil. 

This decision can be affected by external factors, such as current tides, prevailing winds and potential swell from other yachts.

Berths in marinas

As berths are generally booked prior to the start of the charter – several months in advance for some of the busy superyacht hotspots, especially around the Mediterranean – any nights booked in marinas will also need to be factored into the itinerary by the captain. 

Who else needs this information?

Interior crew

The interior staff will use the yacht charter preference sheet to note down the individual preferences of every guest, such as their favourite beverage or snack, to help them deliver the highest level of personalised service throughout the charter. 

A yacht stewardess lays the table for the evening meal

The preference sheets may also contain extra requests, such as a fun themed night or beach BBQ ashore, which the chief stewardess will need to know about in advance in order to adequately prepare her team and provision for each event.

Stewardesses wait to serve guests at a beach barbeque ashore
A guest blows out candles on her birthday cake on a yacht

Exterior deck crew

For guests that have indicated a preference for excursions ashore, watersports, diving or simply sunbathing on the yacht, the deck crew are on hand to make sure everyone is well looked after. 

The first officer and his team will ensure that all toys and tenders are made available to charter guests at any hour of the day, as well as assisting with other equipment such as scuba dive tanks and snorkelling gear.

Toys and tenders onboard explorer yacht BOLD

The deck crew will also relay any important information about the guests to the interior crew throughout the day to ensure a smooth yacht charter experience for everyone.

Detail is the key

It is important that guest preference sheets are as detailed as possible so the yacht crew are fully aware of everyone's personal preferences to ensure you are all well looked after. 

Therefore, taking the trouble of finding out as much information about the likes and dislikes of the rest of the charter party and including this detail on the preference sheet will go a long way towards ensuring your yacht charter vacation is a complete success. 

Looking to book a luxury yacht charter?

If you're interested in booking a yachting vacation, you can take a look at the entire global charter fleet for the perfect luxury charter yacht for your next vacation.

For more advice on yacht charter preference sheets, please reach out to your preferred yacht charter broker.

Read on for more helpful advice and tips on booking a yacht charter

How to Choose Your Charter Yacht
Yacht Charter Contracts
Your Luxury Yacht Charter Crew

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